If you have questions about what parts to buy for your fixtures, the folks at the hardware store will most likely have an answer for you. Come equipped with the brand and model of your fixture and, even better, some pictures. They'll point you in the right direction. And if at any point you feel like you're in over your head, call a plumber. Even if you think you have the skills to do the job, there might be codes involved and you often need a permit.
As with other construction workers, employment of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. On the one hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
Another way to avoid a service call from your plumber is to make sure the outside faucets are turned off in the winter and make sure you disconnect the outside hoses. You need to shut the water off from the inside. Then, open the valve on the outside to let the water that’s in there drain out—you switch both of them to the opposite direction so one is always closed and one is always open. We have to fix tons of these in the spring mostly because people leave their outside hoses connected and they freeze up. The repair could cost $100-$200 or more. Another tip would be if you’re going away for any length of time, like on vacation, turn off your water. If on any of those days the temperature drops below freezing, have someone check in on your house. I’ve been called to homes where the family returned from vacation, and there was water flooding out from the front door.
When you book a plumber, whether it's to fix a broken boiler or to unclog a drain, you want to know they're skilled enough for the task at hand. Nothing is worse than sending an amateur with a wrench to look at your pipes. Odds are, there will be more damage than when they started. All plumbers on the Handy platform are vetted, verified, and background checked way before they arrive at your home, so you can be sure that they're the right person for the job.
Before you get involved with most plumbing projects, you'll need to shut off the water flowing to whatever you're working on. Most of the time, there are easy-to-access gate valves or compression valves that you can turn with your hand. Turn them clockwise all the way to turn off the water and counter-clockwise to turn it back on when you're done. For sinks, look under the sink and you'll usually see two valves—one for hot water and one for cold. On kitchen sinks, you might also see valves for the ice maker on your fridge or your dishwasher. Just turn them all off. For toilets, the valves are on the wall or right on the pipe behind the toilet.
Stopping toilets from clogging is a function of keeping the toilet clear as well as keeping the pipes in the home clear. When the toilet is clogging often, it is best to make sure that the toilet is not being asked to flush a large number of solid products. Typically, the toilet should only be flushed with fluids. If the toilet is being overworked, it will clog. Also, the pipes in the house could begin to clog and force the toilet to clog at times when it appears that it should flush. It is best to contact annual professional cleaning services in order to keep your drains running smoothly.
Most large cities today pipe solid wastes to sewage treatment plants in order to separate and partially purify the water, before emptying into streams or other bodies of water. For potable water use, galvanized iron piping was commonplace in the United States from the late 1800s until around 1960. After that period, copper piping took over, first soft copper with flared fittings, then with rigid copper tubing utilizing soldered fittings.